The board cutting through crystal-clear waters. The breeze lifting the kite, pulling the board faster and faster through the surf. White sand beaches becoming a blur. These are perhaps some of the sensations that prompted Michael Percy to sell his windsurfing gear in 1999, and throw himself into kiteboarding as the founder of Houston Kiteboarding . Today, he and his experienced staff lead hands-on lessons and product demonstrations in kiteboarding, kitesurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and landboarding in the Gulf of Mexico.
As they introduce safety and basic on-water skills, instructors ride side-by-side with students?assisting them when they step onto the board, feel the breeze lift their trainer kites, and give a seagull family the right of way for the first time. Instructors take more experienced riders tanker surfing in Galveston Bay, and on stand-up paddleboard tours through the calm waters and bird sanctuaries of Dollar Bay and Texas City's Levee area. For those who want to strike out on their own, staff also rent and sell stand-up paddleboards and kiteboards by makers such as Cabrinha, Litewave, and Shinn. To accompany these, they provide wares ranging from GoPro HD digital cameras to riding accessories to kites.
Feet patter across three information-packed floors stacked inside the Ocean Star, a former drilling rig that spends its retirement as a museum and education center on Galveston's Pier 19. After two decades drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the rig has since been revamped and outfitted with interactive models and displays that illustrate the story of offshore oil, gas, and the energies that lurk beneath the world's oceans. Visitors can tap into videos for explanations of drilling, geology, and seismic topics, or stand next to scale models of production platforms. In addition to its lineup of eye-popping sites, Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and Education Center harbors ongoing exhibits showcasing the industry's careers, history, and safety measures. Self-guided tours seven days a week enable guests to explore the rig's nooks at their own pace, while an onboard staff stands by to answer questions and courteously laugh at all petroleum-related knock-knock jokes.
Functioning as a non-profit with a mission to promote the preservation of nearby coastal marshes and endangered marine environments, Artist Boat aims to raise awareness through art and science. The team, made up of biologists and artists?all of whom are ACA certified kayak instructors?lead groups on paddles through Galveston Bay, choosing destinations with natural significance. Outings are suited to either beginner or intermediate paddlers, and all gear is provided, so kayakers only need bring along sun-block, outdoor-appropriate clothing, and portable air conditioning units.
Perched on picturesque Galveston Island, Moody Gardens possesses a storied history that complements its scenic surroundings. Next to the sprawling grounds, the Moody Gardens Golf Course boasts multiple holes that run alongside the rippling waters of the Gulf and its intervening waterways, forming intimidating hazards and housing a thriving civilization of merpeople who use golf balls for currency. The tourist destination also thrills families with water attractions, including a wave pool and a lazy river. The restored 10-story Rainforest Pyramid holds more than 1,700 exotic plants and animals from Asian, African, and American rainforests, while the Aquarium Pyramid features a diverse range of ocean inhabitants including sharks and penguins.
A Tony and Emmy award-winner, Jackie Mason has been tickling ribs via stage, screen, and stereo for more than 40 years. Unveil your full repertoire of chortles, giggles, and guffaws as you subject your funny bone to the relentless string of trenchant observations and wily witticisms supplied by the legendary laugh wrangler. Jackie Mason is known for such Broadway hits as The World According to Me and films such as Caddyshack II, as well as for founding the Masons, the secret shadow organization that controls all the world's humor. Each joke and comic jab comes wrapped in the opulent ambience of The Grand's 1,000-seat interior, whose intimate layout makes every gag feel as though it were hand-delivered by your personal gut-busting butler. The show begins at 3 p.m., with doors opening approximately a half-hour beforehand. Seating within the Grand Tier level is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Skydive Galveston connects wingless humans with their aerial ambitions, setting them aloft at up to 14,000 feet to swig freefall adrenaline and then sip on stunning ocean views while gliding softly toward the coastline. After a 30–60 minute safety session where jumpers suit up and get wise to the basics of parachuting, the free-falling party boards a Cessna 182 aircraft and sets course for the clouds. Twenty minutes and two vertical miles later, the pod bay door opens to release pairs of skydiving novices and instructors into a sea of air. Freefall lasts up to a full minute before your human backpack pulls the chute cord, releasing the canopy and slowing the 120-mph drop to a leisurely float.